* The company names and the contents of the case studies are given as of the time of the interview.
Since its establishment in 1975, Information Services International–Dentsu, Ltd. (hereafter "ISID"), based in Minato-ku, Tokyo, has served as a business partner of its client companies, providing total solutions or offering consultation, system planning, system development, and systems operation and maintenance. ISID works constantly to be an innovator in IT solutions, and it has developed its business widely, to include such services as solutions for banking and finance, solutions for product development, consultation for business management, and consolidated accounting, HRM, ERP, and marketing. In 2010 ISID entered cloud computing, and since then it has actively worked to offer cloud computing services to customers in various industries and fields.
ISID released BusinessACXEL for SAP ERP (hereafter "BusinessACXEL") in April 2010, and adopted BSP’s A-AUTO as its job monitoring tool. Regarding the launch of the service and the background of the selection of A-AUTO, BSP recently interviewed Mr. Takashi Shima, Project Manager of the Business Consulting Department of ISID, and Mr. Ken Orihara, Senior Consultant of the Solution Consulting Department IV.
Mr. Takashi Shima
Business Consulting Department
With the recent accelerated advances in cloud computing, some corporations have started using cloud systems for their mission-critical tasks. Many others, however, are still uncomfortable with having those tasks handled by an outside service provider. Some innovative companies, therefore, are in an initial stage of using a cloud service for their mission-critical business systems.
According to the Japan Cloud Service Market User Survey (IDC Japan, June 2010), data security is the subject of the most concern among users or prospective users of public cloud services, and then with insufficient or unstable performance and a feeling of insecurity about being able to deal quickly and effectively with troubles as they arise.
To help its customers establish operations for mission-critical tasks at moderate installation and operational cost, ISID started providing a new BusinessACXEL service. This service is based on the SAP’s ERP tool, a leading tool that has been adopted by many major corporations, in combination with solutions provided by ISID. The service is operated in a private cloud environment, and customers can use it by paying monthly charges.
"A business system for mission-critical tasks is a platform that supports business operations and serves as a lifeline for a company. To add the expandability and user-friendliness of cloud computing to a business system without compromising system security and flexibility in, for example, linkage to other systems, BusinessACXEL has been designed to focus on security and internal control," said Mr. Shima.
"In preparing to launch our BusinessACXEL service," said Mr. Orihara, "we decided to aim for being officially compliant with an auditing standard called SAS70*, in order to eliminate customers’ concerns over the cloud system, improve our service, and reduce customers’ burden in their internal control."
"For many customers, deciding to entrust mission-critical tasks to a cloud service is a hurdle," said Mr. Shima. "In our presentations about SAS70, we must lower that hurdle by showing that our business systems are reliable, that they provide complete security with absolutely no loss of internal control, and that BusinessACXEL meets strict standards.
*SAS70 – Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 70, Service Organizations, is an auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). SAS70 is widely recognized around the world.
"As we made progress toward meeting the requirements of SAS70," said Mr. Orihara, "we found that we needed a job monitoring tool with an error detection function.
"When a job continues running," Mr. Orihara explained. "though, it has been neither successfully completed nor abended, a tool that can detect this abnormality is required. While we were looking for a job monitoring tool, Japan Business Development Inc., one of our partners in the development of BusinessACXEL, kindly suggested that we consider using BSP’s A-AUTO. A-AUTO has not only a simple function for detecting job ending status, but also detailed and helpful functions that support the operation of our mission-critical business systems. It is an excellent system, as we expected from what we had learned from a sales representative who said that A-AUTO had been designed specifically for mission-critical tasks."
Mr. Ken Orihara
Three features led ISID to implement A-AUTO in its services, as follows:
1. A-AUTO is capable of achieving goals in an environment that includes SAP and an IA server.
"First of all," said Mr. Orihara, "to operate SAP in a cloud environment, we needed an integrated monitoring tool that is capable of monitoring jobs on SAP in the same manner as other jobs. Since BusinessACXEL is based on a private cloud, a link to a customer’s on-premise environment also had to be considered. A-AUTO is capable of managing and monitoring various jobs in an integrated manner using the same operation, regardless of jobs on the SAP application or jobs in the on-premise environment. The standardization of operations that A-AUTO makes possible provides a huge advantage.
2. The structure of A-AUTO is compatible with cloud service and is attractively priced.
"Because price competition is fierce, a tool that is to be embedded in cloud service cannot be expensive," said Mr. Orihara. "When we compared several job management tools, we estimated the overall costs to be expected when five BusinessACXEL customers used the service with those tools for five consecutive years. With A-AUTO, we found, the total of the initial license fee and maintenance costs over the five years would be only a third of the cost with other tools.
"When we provide BusinessACXEL service to our customers," Mr. Orihara continued, "it is necessary that we enhance both the production environment and the development and test environment tailored for each customer. A license for the use of A-AUTO in a development and test environment can be purchased for 75% less than a license for the production environment. Since the license fee is based on the number of cores, not on the number of operating systems, we could further reduce the cost in a virtual environment," said Mr. Orihara.
3. A-AUTO has wide experience and proven records in business systems for mission-critical tasks.
"It was also very encouraging that A-AUTO has proven records, having been on the market as a tool supporting operations of mission-critical tasks since the time of mainframes," said Mr. Shima. "For 33 years, the features and functions of A-AUTO have made it so useful in mission-critical tasks that it has attracted 800 companies as users."
ISID will verify its internal controls in place and implement test operations internally, aiming to be officially compliant with SAS70 Type I, the audit standard for internal controls in operation.
After the launch of production, the company plans to be audited by an external agency for compliance with SAS70 Type II, the audit standard for internal controls in operation and operating effectiveness.
BSP will continue to work on A-AUTO, taking into consideration what a new style of mission-critical operations should be, and will further support system operations in a cloud environment.
Company name：Information Services International-Dentsu, Ltd. (ISID)
Founded：December 11, 1975
- Consulting services
- Sale and support of software products
- Sales and support of software developed in-house
- Sales and support of software provided by domestic and
- System integration services
- Design and development of application systems
- Selection and procurement of hardware
- System and infrastructure configuration
- Outsourcing services
URL : http://www.isid.co.jp/english/